Xavier Univ. of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA 70125
America's only true contribution to the arts, jazz, has become a popular worldwide phenomenon since its birth just over 100 years ago. Though it has evolved into several different styles, each with their own geniuses and heroes, none has remained more functional and socially vibrant than its original form: New Orleans jazz. Though the music has often been commercialized and misunderstood, the unique cultural environment that gave birth to jazz still exists in some form today and the music is still part of New Orleans celebrations: parades, weddings, funerals, parties, etc. The program ``New Orleans Jazz: A Musical, Cultural, and Social Tradition,'' is a rare opportunity to learn about and be entertained by this unique musical form. In the opening segment, Dr. Michael White outlines the origins, social significance, spread, and musical characteristics of New Orleans jazz. The next segment uses Dr. White's internationally known Original Liberty Jazz Band (which consists of all New Orleans-born descendants of the first generation of jazz pioneers), to demonstrate the role of each instrument, various song types, and the characteristic process of ``polyphony'' or collective improvisation. The band will perform numerous standards of New Orleans jazz, including the works of the tradition's most outstanding practitioners such as Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, and Sidney Bechet. The music is highly emotional, spiritual, and exciting. Audience participation through discussion is welcome.